Jobs to do before winter comes

What a wasted summer that was, right?

Things were looking promising when the UK broke a temperature record, but that mini heat wave was unfortunately the sole high point in an otherwise dreary season. Autumn is now upon us, and while September wasn’t bad overall (not hot exactly, but not a washout like previous years either), the bad news just keeps coming - very soon the cold weather will be back with a vengeance. Heating your home will, once again, be a must.

Heating your home, when everything is working, is usually just a simple matter of turning things on. However, the long period of inaction for your fireplace, central heating system, and other neglected areas of your home means that a bit of work has to be put in prior to winter truly kicking in. Below, you’ll find some tips we have compiled that can guide you in your pre-winter preparations.

Start on the outside

First and foremost, the outside of your house has to be tackled first, before rain, snow, and sheer cold makes it much harder to get work done. Gutters are a big problem area that people tend to overlook. Over the course of summer, all manner of things (leaves, sticks, etc.) can become stuck in your gutters. Clear this out immediately.

Why will this help? Well this debris can easily become clogged, stopping water flowing through it. This water is liable to freeze and cause an even worse blockage. This forces water to sit in your pipes instead of draining out. Should that then freeze, not only will it cause sometimes irreparable damage, but it will also bring the temperature of your house down.

And while you are out there, check the outer walls of your house for cracks, holes, or any other damage. Even the smallest gap in the wall can have a negative effect on your heating, making it a lot less efficient.

Turn technology to your advantage

As we mentioned above, your fireplace and central heating systems haven’t been turned on in a good long while more than likely. That is a lot of time for them to accumulate problems. Testing them is simple enough, as just turning them on will highlight any major problems, but do it early before not having them work becomes a real issue. Make sure to dust the fireplace too before you turn it on, unless you want to be wheezing a lot. This way, if you do need to repair or replace anything, you don’t have to rush.

Another piece of tech you may not have considered using is your ceiling fan. Known for cooling down your home in the summer, ceiling fans do this by forcing cold air down. Turn the blades in the opposite direction, and warm air will be circulated instead.

Insulation, insulation, insulation

Finally, we’ll tackle the biggest problem of them all - insulation. Insulation, or lack thereof more accurately, is the biggest cause of heat loss, and can result in truly ridiculous heating bills. Heat can escape quite easily through:

  • Windows and doors
  • Gaps between entryways
  • Roofs

For the most part, windows, doors and panel gaps can be reinsulated for a relatively small sum. After you find a gap, you can fill it with either putty, or small strips of adhesive draught blockers. Windows can be further protected with heat reflecting film. These won’t ruin the transparency of your windows, but will keep heat from escaping. Win win!

The roof, however, isn’t as cheap to insulate, especially if a lot of work needs to be done. But it represents the best option long term, as it will prevent more heat loss than any other kind of insulation. So while the big price tag may be off putting, in the long run, it will pay for itself and then some in a matter of years.

Put all of these tips into practice, and you should enjoy a warm, cosy home all winter long.

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